Indian Premier League April 5, 2010

Finding form is difficult in Twenty20

 
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Yuvraj Singh skies a catch in an attempt to rediscover form © Indian Premier League
 

Yuvraj Singh’s form, or the lack of it, has been the talk of the town for since the beginning of IPL 2010. The Twenty20 pros Dilshan and Jayasuriya have also already lost their places in their respective sides. And there are others like Kumar Sangakarra, and AB de Villiers who are getting a lot of flak too.

Ever wondered why more than half a dozen good players are struggling to excel in this format? Well, Twenty20 is a ruthless format. It not only magnifies your weakness but also refuses the time to rectify them. So, if you happen to walk into this format without form and confidence or if you happen to hit a rough patch in the middle of the tournament, you’re most likely doomed.

The golden rule of scoring runs is to spend time in the middle. Ideally instead of looking for runs, one should not be averse to paying a few dot balls in the beginning. Then take a few singles and twos before going for boundary shots. In a fifty-over game, you can always make up for the dot balls later but Twenty20 doesn’t give you that luxury.

The construction of a Twenty20 innings is quite different to how it is done in ODIs. Even in a Twenty20 game, one can afford to start slowly. Yet, starting slowly in Twenty20 does not mean playing dot balls, but aiming to take those vital singles.

A strike-rate of 100 is the bare minimum that a batsman should strive for, that too only for the first 6-7 balls. A boundary must follow soon or else you may be jeopardising your team’s chances of scoring big. The only exception to this rule is if you’re blessed to have a Yusuf Pathan-like- batsman at the other end or your team is chasing an insignificant total. Gautam Gambhir found that ally in Dinesh Karthik against the Royals. Karthik’s heroics allowed Gambhir to bide his time. On the contrary, Ganguly tried something similar against Mumbai Indians but unfortunately Gayle wasn’t batting that fluently either and hence he received a lot of flak for playing slowly.

Bowlers too have to put up with form blues. A bowler low on confidence might just bowl a couple of loose balls in the beginning. In a fifty-over game, he might get away with it because the batsmen are not always on the offensive. But in Twenty20, even good balls disappear for fours and sixes, let alone the bad deliveries. So he better be on the spot from the first ball or perish.

But this format also dictates that you fail more often than you succeed. The averages tell the story. Most batsmen average in the mid-20s and only a few in the 30s. I’m yet to see a batsman averaging in 40s in this format. So how do players get back to scoring after a failure or two? Since biding time is not possible in this format, the only way to come back to form is to be positive and take the initiative. You must get to your opposition before they get to you. Certain players hit their way out of trouble, which is considered almost blasphemous in other formats, but in Twenty20, the ones who do so, make the quickest comebacks.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • reviews escorts on August 22, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    It was rather interesting for me to read this blog. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

    Anete Hakkinen

  • tim on April 6, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Good Article...just a quick note though, Matthew Hayden averages a tad under 46 after 34 innings, and 51 the international version.

    Given a minimum of 15 innings, there is 5 batsman with a higher average than 40, or 12 altogether.

  • CitizenK on April 6, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    There are a couple of batsmen averaging 40 after 30 or so games, Hayden and Marsh (and maybe a few others)... but those definitely look like the exceptions.

    An average of 30 will be the hallmark of a class T20 player.

  • shailesh on April 5, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    >>I’m yet to see a batsman averaging in 40s in this format. Akash - Check out the stats of a player whole middle name is Lawrence and whose bat is a snake killer.

  • praveen rodrigues on April 5, 2010, 20:40 GMT

    I beg to differ with the author albeit he is undoubtedly a cricketer of repute...form is temporary but class is permanent..be it 20-20 or any format, present-generation dynamics demand quick runs & the 20-20 mentality will creep into all forms of the game! Sachin Tendulkar is a fine example to illlustrate my point...he has not only been a star performer for mumbai this season, his scoring rate has also picked up in other formats & he is won more matches for India (on average) than he has ever before..even the Bangladeshi's are taking the attack to the opposition & almost pulling it off...no more is the golden rule spending time in the middle but more so "finding the middle of the bat" earlier than later! 20-20 may just be the tonic test cricket needs to keep afloat.

  • sol on April 5, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    So, whats the moral of the story? Dont play twenty20..? Everyone knows twenty20 is fast game..didnot see anything new in this article.

  • Chandru on April 5, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    May I request Mr. Aakash Chopra to visit the link below to find himself how many batsmen have an average of nore than 40?

  • Brian on April 5, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    Shane Watson averages over 40 in the IPL.

  • Mohammed Usman on April 5, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Excellent article and very true..... ]

    Excellent article and very true. Am surprised that Dilshan has lost him form as well.

  • Younis mohammad on April 5, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    Ya thats right that it is hard to find form in t20 cricket but one thing i notice in this shoter version of game it really to make most of the opprtunities as a player and as a team. Few examples are like Murili Vijay hardly known as a hitter but he is a stand out performer now, jayavardhane shows that how to blazant in style, Ganguly making his remarks. As a team catching is the most important thing, teams who are taking catches wining matches, though topic was all about finding form so to find form take your risks and make most of the oppurtunity.

  • reviews escorts on August 22, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    It was rather interesting for me to read this blog. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

    Anete Hakkinen

  • tim on April 6, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Good Article...just a quick note though, Matthew Hayden averages a tad under 46 after 34 innings, and 51 the international version.

    Given a minimum of 15 innings, there is 5 batsman with a higher average than 40, or 12 altogether.

  • CitizenK on April 6, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    There are a couple of batsmen averaging 40 after 30 or so games, Hayden and Marsh (and maybe a few others)... but those definitely look like the exceptions.

    An average of 30 will be the hallmark of a class T20 player.

  • shailesh on April 5, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    >>I’m yet to see a batsman averaging in 40s in this format. Akash - Check out the stats of a player whole middle name is Lawrence and whose bat is a snake killer.

  • praveen rodrigues on April 5, 2010, 20:40 GMT

    I beg to differ with the author albeit he is undoubtedly a cricketer of repute...form is temporary but class is permanent..be it 20-20 or any format, present-generation dynamics demand quick runs & the 20-20 mentality will creep into all forms of the game! Sachin Tendulkar is a fine example to illlustrate my point...he has not only been a star performer for mumbai this season, his scoring rate has also picked up in other formats & he is won more matches for India (on average) than he has ever before..even the Bangladeshi's are taking the attack to the opposition & almost pulling it off...no more is the golden rule spending time in the middle but more so "finding the middle of the bat" earlier than later! 20-20 may just be the tonic test cricket needs to keep afloat.

  • sol on April 5, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    So, whats the moral of the story? Dont play twenty20..? Everyone knows twenty20 is fast game..didnot see anything new in this article.

  • Chandru on April 5, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    May I request Mr. Aakash Chopra to visit the link below to find himself how many batsmen have an average of nore than 40?

  • Brian on April 5, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    Shane Watson averages over 40 in the IPL.

  • Mohammed Usman on April 5, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Excellent article and very true..... ]

    Excellent article and very true. Am surprised that Dilshan has lost him form as well.

  • Younis mohammad on April 5, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    Ya thats right that it is hard to find form in t20 cricket but one thing i notice in this shoter version of game it really to make most of the opprtunities as a player and as a team. Few examples are like Murili Vijay hardly known as a hitter but he is a stand out performer now, jayavardhane shows that how to blazant in style, Ganguly making his remarks. As a team catching is the most important thing, teams who are taking catches wining matches, though topic was all about finding form so to find form take your risks and make most of the oppurtunity.

  • Mukesh Agarwal on April 5, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    That is so not true. Getting back to form can be a quick phenomenon as well. In T20, you can not very often say that a player is out of form if he does not score a half century every match. An average of 30 is awesome, why is that bad... An average of 40 in a 50 over match is good, so I think Yuvraj has not just exploded as much as you would have wanted them.. Stars in India are dealt with more pressure to perform than anywhere else.. He is sure going to get better and explode in World Cup for India.. This format is not at all a good judge of your cricketing skills.. Its so much more about handling pressure than playing cricket..

  • amit on April 5, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    Great observations as always Aakash, its a pleasure reading your blogs! The fact that t20 tests everything - form, presence of mind, improvisation makes it a true leveler

  • Abhishek Banerjee on April 5, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    brilliant analysis.. cutting the so-called 'non-performers' some slack.. it helps having a players' perspective on this..

  • Ajay on April 5, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Nice article. 100% agreed.

  • Saif on April 5, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Nice article.Short and to the point,just like T20. Akash was that intentional?

  • Raghuraman on April 5, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    Another Brilliant Write Up Akash !!! Good Point.

    It raises a question about batsman not in form playing test cricket. How can anybody bide time and retain their wicket when not in form ? For the bowlers do they have to keep bowling to come back to form or take a break ?

  • muhammad7676 on April 5, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Yeah,I think batmen need to score quickly from the outset.And if a batsman is short of form he should try to hit shots and if he gets a few off the middle,he would feel confident and can find his form.

  • Kapil Goyal on April 5, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    I totally disagree with the statement batsman average in the mid 20s and 30s. there are players like Raina, Kallis, Pomerbasch, and Marsh who still average above 40 in the IPL.

  • d'oh on April 5, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    what about matthew lawrence hayden who has an average of more than 40?

    Twenty20 34 34 5 1330 93 45.86

  • Anand Alagappa on April 5, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Great Aakash. Well Written. I would love to see if you can comment on how well you might have fared in this format. If I have missed your comment, can you please point to the article where you have mentioned it.

  • Nitish on April 5, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Well, batsmen average in their 20s here is more beacuse of the shorter format. Considering an average team score of 260 in ODIs vs an average score of 170 in T20s, I think the averages are pretty much according to logic and maths. Low averages in T20s do not mean batsmen fail more often than they succeed. Just that the definition of success is different.

  • param on April 5, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Hayden averages 45+ in T20's :-)

  • rajkumar on April 5, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    i think yuvi is not in great form,he struggling a bit to regain his form.for worldcup 2020 he is the key player for india.So coach should more concentrate on yuvi. we should encourage him to regain the form

  • nish on April 5, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    T-20 is such a small form of cricket that on given day any player can do significantly well or perish like nothing.I think in T-20 1 or 2 overs are enough to be back from bad patch but for player who is down on confidence this format can be really horrible especially for young bowler as it can kill their confidence.The bowling in t-20 is very difficult , but the bowler can contain the batsmen by introducing lot of variations like slower ones( they too should be of different types) or yorkers.If we consider this IPL,Ishant Sharma has failed miserably and he would be very low on confidence.

  • Karmani on April 5, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Hi Aakash, I always follow your blogs and articles on Cricinfo and like your insider point of view. Totally true that T20 does not give a batsman time to recover. Also on a side note, Like you said, I am a big DADA fan and noticed that he gets a lot of flak for holding one end up (and not considered T20 material) while others batting in the same vein like Kallis, SRT, Gambhir etc are not even talked about like that.

  • azar on April 5, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    acually its a right comment abt twenty20 players.. suddenly they came and hit couple of sixes tats not a way to lead the team.. we need get couple of singles & when the bowlers use to give lose deliveries we can utilies tat..

  • Rupam Dutta on April 5, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    quite an uncanny thought ...but it sure dos relive the pressure of the out of form batsman evn if he gets a streaky boundary goin for a "get outta jail " shot

  • Nathan on April 5, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    yeah i agree, players like yuvi, raina and sharma, are plyers of immense talent but cat rectify their recent form

  • Ashraf on April 5, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Excellent articles ,

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  • Ashraf on April 5, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Excellent articles ,

  • Nathan on April 5, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    yeah i agree, players like yuvi, raina and sharma, are plyers of immense talent but cat rectify their recent form

  • Rupam Dutta on April 5, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    quite an uncanny thought ...but it sure dos relive the pressure of the out of form batsman evn if he gets a streaky boundary goin for a "get outta jail " shot

  • azar on April 5, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    acually its a right comment abt twenty20 players.. suddenly they came and hit couple of sixes tats not a way to lead the team.. we need get couple of singles & when the bowlers use to give lose deliveries we can utilies tat..

  • Karmani on April 5, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Hi Aakash, I always follow your blogs and articles on Cricinfo and like your insider point of view. Totally true that T20 does not give a batsman time to recover. Also on a side note, Like you said, I am a big DADA fan and noticed that he gets a lot of flak for holding one end up (and not considered T20 material) while others batting in the same vein like Kallis, SRT, Gambhir etc are not even talked about like that.

  • nish on April 5, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    T-20 is such a small form of cricket that on given day any player can do significantly well or perish like nothing.I think in T-20 1 or 2 overs are enough to be back from bad patch but for player who is down on confidence this format can be really horrible especially for young bowler as it can kill their confidence.The bowling in t-20 is very difficult , but the bowler can contain the batsmen by introducing lot of variations like slower ones( they too should be of different types) or yorkers.If we consider this IPL,Ishant Sharma has failed miserably and he would be very low on confidence.

  • rajkumar on April 5, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    i think yuvi is not in great form,he struggling a bit to regain his form.for worldcup 2020 he is the key player for india.So coach should more concentrate on yuvi. we should encourage him to regain the form

  • param on April 5, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Hayden averages 45+ in T20's :-)

  • Nitish on April 5, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Well, batsmen average in their 20s here is more beacuse of the shorter format. Considering an average team score of 260 in ODIs vs an average score of 170 in T20s, I think the averages are pretty much according to logic and maths. Low averages in T20s do not mean batsmen fail more often than they succeed. Just that the definition of success is different.

  • Anand Alagappa on April 5, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Great Aakash. Well Written. I would love to see if you can comment on how well you might have fared in this format. If I have missed your comment, can you please point to the article where you have mentioned it.